Gimme Everything You Got

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Jul. 2020. 400p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062937254.
Gr 10 Up–The moment new teacher and coach Bobby McMann walks into Powell Park High School in 1979, every female student is instantly enamored, but no one is crushing harder than junior Susan Klintock. Ever since Susan hit puberty, she has been very aware of her budding sexuality, and Bobby ignites all of her yearnings. When Susan finds out he is launching a girls’ soccer team in response to the recent Title IX legislation, she immediately tries out, hoping to get closer to her dream man. What she doesn’t plan on is the discovery of her natural soccer talent and the realization that some things are more important than fantasy crushes. In this frank and funny book, flash points of the era are explored; women are dealing with inequality in all areas of life. But Susan’s obsessive crush overshadows themes of toxic masculinity, her mother’s struggles with workplace equality, and the gains toward equal rights that were meant to have been partially addressed by Title IX itself.
VERDICT So much time is spent on Susan’s idolization of Bobby that equally important themes of friendship and family, which are otherwise well handled, take a back seat to her lust. Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie delivers a similar message without the overt sexuality, but for teens ready for Susan’s awkward and authentic appetites, this is a suitable feminist manifesto.

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